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Evesham
Boat Trips on the River Avon from Evesham


Each image links to a larger copy which opens in a new window/tab

 

This page shows a selection of passenger boats which have worked on the River Avon based at Evesham in Worcestershire. Both historic and modern images are be included.

The River Avon is a navigable waterway linking the River Severn at Tewkesbury to the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal at Stratford-upon-Avon. The river between Evesham and Stratford is managed by the Upper Avon Navigation Trust, and below by the Lower Avon Navigation Trust, reflecting the administration of the river since the restoration, when the lower Avon required only modest repairs, but significant investment was required above the town. The ancient Hampton Ferry links the town to Hampton.

The main local boat operator in Edwardian times was Charles Byrd, who was established his business in 1871. He later ran excursions from the Fleece Inn, Bridge Street using the Lily. In the 1930s the fleet included Diamond Queen, Jubilee and Lilybyrd. I assume the Jubilee is the boat previously run by Charles Bathurst of Tewkesbury [1]. Lilybyrd had been converted from the Lily and then carried 120 passengers. Diamond Queen later ran for S.J.Grove.

Rival services were run by the Tewkesbury boat builder Charles Bathurst. The fleet included King, Jubilee, River Queen and Swallow. Jubilee may have later worked for Charles Byrd [1]. The King, built in 1905 by its owner, was the largest vessel in the Bathurst fleet at 71ft 6ins. She could carry 192 passengers and was powered by an 80hp engine by T.A.Savery. She later became a houseboat but was discovered in Bristol in 1995 and a restoration was started, but I can find no current information about this.

S.J.Grove later ran the boat services from Evesham, his fleet including the Diamond Queen from Charles Byrd. He also owned the tea gardens & dining rooms at the Marine Ballroom near the Avon Bridge, although it subsequently burnt down. Regular services in both brochures ran to Chadbury (7 miles) and Fladbury (14 miles), with steamers running every 30mins in the pre-war period. The fleet included Gaiety (138 pass), Hurley (100 pass), (both ex-Salter Brothers from the Thames) and Flying Fox (56 pass). The ballroom and boats were later owned by A.Tolley and then fleet included Diamond Queen (174 pass), Gaiety (138 pass) and Hurley (100 pass), plus motor boats King George (72 pass), Tagus (56 pass) and La Marguerite (12 pass). The Marine Ballroom was kept busy with teas and dinners during the summer, but was available for functions and dances in the winter. In later years it appears to have been used for boxing matches. Gaiety and  Hurley were later converted to diesel power and Gaiety had her saloon removed to become a flush decked vessel.

Gaiety remained at Evesham until 1991, after which there were no local trip boats until 1996 when Handsam Too arrived. Gaiety returned to the Thames with French Brothers but was not rebuilt for use. She was later sold for use as a house boat.




 


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Operators & Boats on this Page

Operator Websites:-

 


Related Simplon River Boat Pages

Associated Simplon Pages
References
  Trip Out Guides - Written & published by G.P.Hamer - editions 1977-2011
          
Trip Out Guides are available from Geoffrey Hamer, PO Box 485, Southall, UB1 9BH

  Cruising Monthly - www.cruisingmonthly.com
  Josephine Jeremiah - The River Avon - Philimore 1999 [1]
  Josephine Jeremiah - The River Severn - Philimore 1998 [2]



Evesham
Boat Trips on the River Avon from Evesham


Historic Evesham Boat Images


Charles Bathurst
Tewkesbury

For many years the largest boat operator on the Lower Avon and Severn was the fleet of Charles Bathurst based at his boatyard in Tewkesbury. The fleet included King, Jubilee, River Queen and Swallow. Jubilee may have later worked for Charles Byrd [1]. Bathurst had sufficient vessels to run services from Evesham which is why he is included on this page. The King, built in 1905 by its owner, was the largest vessel in the Bathurst fleet at 71ft 6ins. She could carry 192 passengers and was powered by an 80hp engine by T.A.Savery. She later became a houseboat but was discovered in Bristol in 1995 and a restoration was started, but I can find no current information about this.


Jubilee
Charles Bathurst, Tewkesbury

 The Jubilee was 63ft long. She could carry 133 passengers and was re-engined in 1924 with new 57hp W.Sissons engine..


Official C.Bathurst postcard of Jubilee at Bredon on the Avon
JUBILEE - C.Bathurst - www.simplonpc.co.ukJUBILEE - C.Bathurst - www.simplonpc.co.uk





King (1905)
Charles Bathurst, Tewkesbury

 The King, built in 1905 by its owner, was the largest vessel in the Bathurst fleet at 71ft 6ins. She could carry 192 passengers and was powered by an 80hp engine by T.A.Savery [1]. She later became a houseboat and was discovered in Bristol in 1995. A restoration was started, but I can find no current information about this.


Official C.Bathurst postcard of Jubilee at Bredon on the Avon
KING (1905) - C.Bathurst - www.simplonpc.co.uk







Charles Byrd & Sons

Charles Byrd's boating business was established in 1871. He later ran excursions from the Fleece Inn, Bridge Street using the Lily. In the 1930s the fleet included Diamond Queen, Jubilee and Lilybyrd. I assume the Jubilee is the boat previously run by Charles Bathurst of Tewkesbury [1]. Lilybyrd had been converted from the Lily and then carried 120 passengers. Diamond Queen later ran for S.J.Grove.


Postcard of Jubilee which later ran for Charles Byrd
JUBILEE - C.Bathurst - www.simplonpc.co.uk







Avon Bridge Catering & Boating
S.J.Grove - A.Jolley

There were tea gardens & dining rooms at the Marine Ballroom near the Avon Bridge until it was burnt down. The owners also hired out small boats and ran steam excursion boats from the river close to where Handsam Too now operates. I have two undated brochures issued by the company, one when owned by S.J.Grove and one by A.Tolley. The Tolley brochure is dated1952-1966 since an advert mentions the BMC engine installed in Hurley. At this time the fleet was Gaiety (138 pass), Hurley (100 pass), (both ex-Salter Brothers from the Thames) and Flying Fox (56 pass). Gaiety remained a steamer at this time. The S.J.Grove brochure is much older (prices are 1/3 of those post war) and the fleet was larger with steamers Diamond Queen (174 pass), Gaiety (138 pass) and Hurley (100 pass), plus motor boats King George (72 pass), Tagus (56 pass) and La Marguerite (12 pass). The Marine Ballroom was kept busy with teas and dinners during the summer, but was available for functions and dances in the winter. In later years it appears to have been used for boxing matches. Gaiety was later converted to diesel power and had her saloon removed to become a flush decked vessel. She remained at Evesham until 1991, after which there were no local trip boats until 1996 when Handsam Too arrived. Gaiety returned to the Thames with French Brothers but was not rebuilt for use. She was alter sold for use as a house boat. Regular services in both brochures ran to Chadbury (7 miles) and Fladbury (14 miles), with steamers running every 30mins in the pre-war brochure.

Complete PDF files of both brochures can be downloaded:-
Pre-war Brochure - 2.5MB PDF File

1950/60s Brochure - 4MB PDF File




Avon Boating Brochure Pre-WW2

Pre-WW2 Avon Bridge brochure cover, when owned by S.J.Grove
Download Complete Download Complete Pre-war Brochure - 2.5MB PDF File
AVON BRIDGE - River Avon, Evesham - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Pre-WW2 Avon Bridge brochure cover with an image of the Tea Garden
Download Complete Download Complete Pre-war Brochure - 2.5MB PDF File
AVON BRIDGE - River Avon, Evesham - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Pre-WW2 Avon Bridge brochure with a picture of the busy Avon
Download Complete Download Complete Pre-war Brochure - 2.5MB PDF File
AVON BRIDGE - River Avon, Evesham - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Pre-WW2 Avon Bridge brochure with details of the steamer trips and fleet list
Download Complete Download Complete Pre-war Brochure - 2.5MB PDF File
AVON BRIDGE - River Avon, Evesham - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Pre-WW2 Avon Bridge brochure showing ex-Salter's steamers Hurley and Gaiety
Download Complete Download Complete Pre-war Brochure - 2.5MB PDF File
AVON BRIDGE - River Avon, Evesham - www.simplonpc.co.uk





Avon Boating Brochure 1950s/60s

1950s/60s Avon Bridge brochure cover, when owned by A.Tolley
Download Complete 1950/60s Brochure - 4MB PDF File
AVON BRIDGE - River Avon, Evesham - www.simplonpc.co.uk



1950s/60s Avon Bridge brochure Page 2 with photo of Marine Ballroom and SS Gaiety
Download Complete 1950/60s Brochure - 4MB PDF File
AVON BRIDGE - River Avon, Evesham - www.simplonpc.co.uk



1950s/60s Avon Bridge brochure Page 6 giving details of closure of the Evesham-Stratford river section
Download Complete 1950/60s Brochure - 4MB PDF File
AVON BRIDGE - River Avon, Evesham - www.simplonpc.co.uk



1950s/60s Avon Bridge brochure Page 8 giving fleet details, trips & fares
Download 1950/60s Brochure - 4MB PDF File

AVON BRIDGE - River Avon, Evesham - www.simplonpc.co.uk



1950s/60s Avon Bridge brochure Page 14 showing the Marine Ballroom
Download 1950/60s Brochure - 4MB PDF File

AVON BRIDGE - River Avon, Evesham - www.simplonpc.co.uk



1950s/60s Avon Bridge brochure Page 15 showing a request for donations for the Lower Avon Navigation Trust
Download 1950/60s Brochure - 4MB PDF File

AVON BRIDGE - River Avon, Evesham - www.simplonpc.co.uk



1950s/60s Avon Bridge brochure rear cover showing an advert for the boatyard which re-engined the Hurley with a BMC diesel
Download 1950/60s Brochure - 4MB PDF File

AVON BRIDGE - River Avon, Evesham - www.simplonpc.co.uk





Gaiety
Avon Bridge Catering & Boating

Gaiety was built as the Oxford (1) for Salter Brothers of Oxford by Edwin Clarke and Company of Brimscombe in 1889. She was sold to J.T.Phelps of Putney in 1921 when replaced by the larger Oxford (2). She was renamed Gaiety. Ownership became Bowers & Phelps from 1927-28, and she later served at Evesham on the River Avon. She was bought by French Brothers and returned to the Thames in 1991. They did not restore her as planned and eventually she became a houseboat.


Salter Brothers company postcard of Oxford (1) (later Gaiety) at Oxford.
These cards were issued pre-WW1 from the 1/2d postage.



Postcard of Oxford (1) and Cliveden (1) at Henley, with a small unidentified steamer in the foreground
Scan: Tony Langford



Postcard of Salter Brothers' Oxford (1) (later Gaiety)
Scan: Tony Langford



Postcard of Salter Brothers' Oxford (1) (later Gaiety)
Scan: Tony Langford



Salter Brothers' Oxford (1) (later Gaiety) at Marlow in 1911
Scan: Dave Martin



 Gaiety on the Avon at Evesham
GAIETY - River Avon, Evesham - www.simplonpc.co.uk



 Gaiety on the Avon at Evesham
GAIETY - River Avon, Evesham - www.simplonpc.co.uk



 Gaiety on the Avon at Evesham
Enlarged image from the card above
GAIETY - River Avon, Evesham - www.simplonpc.co.uk



 Gaiety, Diamond Queen and Hurley on the Avon at Evesham
GAIETY - River Avon, Evesham - www.simplonpc.co.uk



 Gaiety, Diamond Queen (and a rebuilt Hurley?) on the Avon at Evesham
GAIETY - River Avon, Evesham - www.simplonpc.co.uk



 Gaiety on the Avon at Evesham
GAIETY - River Avon, Evesham - www.simplonpc.co.uk



 Gaiety on the Avon at Evesham
GAIETY - River Avon, Evesham - www.simplonpc.co.ukGAIETY - River Avon, Evesham - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Gaiety of French Brothers, out of service at Windsor
Photo: © Ian Boyle, Windsor, 22nd May 2004.



Gaiety of French Brothers, out of service at Windsor
Photo: © Ian Boyle, Windsor, 22nd May 2004.



Gaiety of French Brothers, out of service at Windsor
Photo: © Ian Boyle, Windsor, 22nd May 2004.



Oxford (1), as the Gaiety as a houseboat in 2007






Hurley
Avon Bridge Catering & Boating

Hurley was formerly Phoenix and Caucase, and is now with Parr's of Kingston. She was built by Salter's as a private yacht named the Caucase for a Russian count in 1914. A fire broke out in Salter’s slipway building on Monday 24 May 1920 and the Caucase, which was being refitted, was virtually destroyed. Only her hull survived, which Salter’s put to use when in 1924 a vessel named Phoenix joined their passenger fleet, having risen – as a phoenix does – from the ashes of the Caucase. She was smaller than Salter's usual boats – 66' in overall length, 11' in beam – and her funnel and machinery were placed aft of the saloon. Phoenix was renamed Hurley in 1927 but in February 1931 followed Gaiety (ex-Oxford) to the River Avon at Evesham where for many years she sailed for S J Grove. She returned to the Thames in 1981 and currently (2011) runs for Parr's of Kingston.


Caucase as a yacht at Boulter's Lock
Scan: Iain Macleod
CAUCASE - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Phoenix at Bray Lock in a GWR photo
Scan: Iain Macleod - enlarged copy of  photo above
PHOENIX - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Phoenix at Monkey Island in a GWR photo
Scan: Iain Macleod - enlarged copy of photo above
PHOENIX - www.simplonpc.co.uk



 Hurley on the Avon at Evesham
HURLEY - River Avon, Evesham - www.simplonpc.co.uk



 Gaiety (and a rebuilt Hurley?) on the Avon at Evesham
GAIETY - River Avon, Evesham - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Hurley at Hampton Court with Parr's of Kingston
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 17th July 2007






Evesham Ferries

Evesham is bounded by the Avon on three sides, and inevitably there were various passenger ferries in the past. One survives at Hampton to the west of he town. Offenham Ferry was to the north east of the town.


Postcard of Hampton Ferry at Evesham
Hampton Ferry, Evesham - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Postcard of Hampton Ferry at Evesham (incorrectly titled since there is no bridge)
Hampton Ferry, Evesham - www.simplonpc.co.uk



1960s postcard of Hampton Ferry at Evesham
Hampton Ferry, Evesham - www.simplonpc.co.uk



Postcard of Offenham Ferry at Evesham
Offenham Ferry, Evesham - www.simplonpc.co.uk







Recent Evesham Boat Images


Avon Leisure Cruises

Avon Leisure Cruises have run the large passenger barge Spirit of Freedom on charters from Evesham since c2005 (although built in 1990). They also acquired 12 passenger Avon Spirit from the Thames and built the attractive Frederick in 2010 (also 12 passengers). Some advertised special cruises are operated but otherwise the fleet is charters only.

To travel with Avon Leisure Cruises
  Website:-  www.avonleisurecruises.co.uk
  Phone:-  07774 653112


Avon Spirit
Avon Leisure Cruises

 Avon Spirit on the Avon
Photo: ©2010 Avon Leisure Cruises
AVON SPIRIT - River Avon, Evesham - Photo: ©2010 Avon Leisure Cruises



 Avon Spirit on the Avon at Evesham
Photo: ©2010 Avon Leisure Cruises
AVON SPIRIT - River Avon, Evesham - Photo: ©2010 Avon Leisure Cruises



 Avon Spirit on the Avon at Evesham
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 24th September 2011
AVON SPIRIT - River Avon, Evesham - Photo: ©2011  Ian Boyle



 Avon Spirit on the Avon at Evesham
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 24th September 2011
AVON SPIRIT - River Avon, Evesham - Photo: ©2011  Ian Boyle



 Avon Spirit on the Avon at Evesham
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 24th September 2011
AVON SPIRIT - River Avon, Evesham - Photo: ©2011  Ian Boyle



 Avon Spirit on the Avon at Evesham
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 24th September 2011
AVON SPIRIT - River Avon, Evesham - Photo: ©2011  Ian Boyle



 Avon Spirit on the Avon at Evesham
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 24th September 2011
AVON SPIRIT - River Avon, Evesham - Photo: ©2011  Ian Boyle






Frederick
Avon Leisure Cruises

 Frederick on the Avon passing Bideford Bridge
Photo: ©2010 Avon Leisure Cruises
FREDERICK - River Avon, Evesham - Photo: ©2010 Avon Leisure Cruises






Spirit of Freedom
Avon Leisure Cruises

Spirit of Freedom on the Avon at Evesham in the floods of 2007
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 12th January 2007
SPIRIT OF FREEDOM - River Avon, Evesham - Photo: ©2007  Ian Boyle



Spirit of Freedom on the Avon at Evesham in the floods of 2007
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 12th January 2007
SPIRIT OF FREEDOM - River Avon, Evesham - Photo: ©2007  Ian Boyle



Spirit of Freedom on the Avon at Evesham
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 24th September 2011
SPIRIT OF FREEDOM - River Avon, Evesham - Photo: ©2011  Ian Boyle



Spirit of Freedom on the Avon at Evesham
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 24th September 2011
SPIRIT OF FREEDOM - River Avon, Evesham - Photo: ©2011  Ian Boyle



Spirit of Freedom on the Avon at Evesham
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 24th September 2011
SPIRIT OF FREEDOM - River Avon, Evesham - Photo: ©2011  Ian Boyle







Handsam Too
Handsam Boat Company

Handsam Too was built by by Hornbeam's of Wallasey in 1934 as the Princess Margaret for service on the River Dee at Chester. It is believed that she had a sister Princess Elizabeth. Princess Margaret later worked on the River Ouse at York and on the Trent at Newark. She was brought from there to the Avon at Evesham in 1996 by Tom Sandham (Handsam is an an anagram of Sandham and was the name of a sailing boat previously owned). The last previous boat to operate trips at Evesham had been the Gaiety (ex-Oxford (1) of Salter Brothers) which returned from the Avon to the Thames in 1991. Handsam Too has now been running on the Avon for 21 years, despite sinking in severe floods in 2007. She was restored within six months and has been painted cream since then; her hull colour previously being blue. the owner also owns a smaller boat Empress which is out of service and for which no images are available.

Motor boats and rowing boats are also available for hire from the Handsam Too berth at Abbey Park, Evesham, WR11 4ST.


To travel on Handsam Too
  Website:-  www.handsamboatcompany.co.uk
  Email:-  info@handsamboatcompany.co.uk
  Phone:-  07860 895416

  2011 Brochure:- Download 4MB PDF File


Handsam Too at her berth at Evesham
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 24th September 2011
HANDSAM TOO (1934) - River Avon, Evesham - Photo: © Ian Boyle, 24th September 2011



Handsam Too at her berth at Evesham
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 24th September 2011
HANDSAM TOO (1934) - River Avon, Evesham - Photo: © Ian Boyle, 24th September 2011



On board Handsam Too
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 24th September 2011
HANDSAM TOO (1934) - River Avon, Evesham - Photo: © Ian Boyle, 24th September 2011



Handsam Too cruising on the Avon at Evesham
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 24th September 2011
HANDSAM TOO (1934) - River Avon, Evesham - Photo: © Ian Boyle, 24th September 2011



Handsam Too cruising on the Avon at Evesham
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 24th September 2011
HANDSAM TOO (1934) - River Avon, Evesham - Photo: © Ian Boyle, 24th September 2011



Handsam Too cruising on the Avon at Evesham
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 24th September 2011
HANDSAM TOO (1934) - River Avon, Evesham - Photo: © Ian Boyle, 24th September 2011



Handsam Too cruising on the Avon at Evesham
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 24th September 2011
HANDSAM TOO (1934) - River Avon, Evesham - Photo: © Ian Boyle, 24th September 2011



Handsam Too cruising on the Avon at Evesham
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 24th September 2011
HANDSAM TOO (1934) - River Avon, Evesham - Photo: © Ian Boyle, 24th September 2011



Handsam Too cruising on the Avon at Evesham
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 24th September 2011
HANDSAM TOO (1934) - River Avon, Evesham - Photo: © Ian Boyle, 24th September 2011



Handsam Too postcard
HANDSAM TOO (1934) - River Avon, EveshamHANDSAM TOO (1934) - River Avon, Evesham



Handsam Too postcard
HANDSAM TOO (1934) - River Avon, EveshamHANDSAM TOO (1934) - River Avon, Evesham



Handsam Too postcard
Previous edition of card above - offer may no longer be valid
HANDSAM TOO (1934) - River Avon, EveshamHANDSAM TOO (1934) - River Avon, Evesham







River Avon & Town

The Avon at Evesham in the floods of 2007, with Spirit of Freedom
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 12th January 2007
River Avon, Evesham - Photo: ©2007  Ian Boyle



The Avon at Evesham in the floods of 2007, with Spirit of Freedom
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 12th January 2007
River Avon, Evesham - Photo: ©2007  Ian Boyle



The Avon at Evesham in the floods of 2007, with Spirit of Freedom
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 12th January 2007
River Avon, Evesham - Photo: ©2007  Ian Boyle



The bridge over the Avon at Evesham in the floods of 2007
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 12th January 2007
River Avon, Evesham - Photo: ©2007  Ian Boyle



The Avon at Evesham in the floods of 2007
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 12th January 2007
River Avon, Evesham - Photo: ©2007  Ian Boyle



Evesham Abbey was founded by Saint Egwin at Evesham in England between 700 and 710 A.D. following a vision of the Virgin Mary by Eof.

According to the monastic history, Evesham came through the Norman Conquest unusually well, because of a quick approach by Abbot Æthelwig to William the Conqueror. Only one section of walling survives from the actual abbey, although fragments of the chapter house, the bell tower and the gateway remain, which were added later: the chapter house in the 13th century and the bell tower in the 16th century. Simon de Montfort (1208–1265) is buried beneath the high altar of the ruined abbey, the spot marked by an altar-like memorial monument dedicated by the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1965. The abbey is of Benedictine origin, and became in its heyday one of the wealthiest in the country. During the Dissolution of the Monasteries, the abbey was demolished leaving only the bell tower surviving into the 21st century.


Evesham Abbey Bell Tower
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 12th January 2007
Evesham - Photo: ©2007  Ian BoyleEvesham - Photo: ©2007  Ian Boyle



15th century half-timbered building in Evesham
Photo: © Ian Boyle, 12th January 2007
Evesham - Photo: ©2007  Ian Boyle



















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